Donald Cammell: The Ultimate Performance
Time Out saysFor Cammell, the ultimate performance, of course, was to shoot himself (only to remain lucid for some while as he spoke to his wife China before dying): a shocking but strangely appropriate end for the writer/co-director of Performance. He had led a dramatic life - a precocious painter, a charismatic sexual adventurer and a member of fashionable/arty sets in Paris and London during the Swinging '60s, a reclusive exile in LA occasionally hanging out with the likes of Kenneth Anger and (less happily) Brando - but was he, finally, an underachiever? Post-Performance, his career was littered with uneven or unmade films, and perhaps one can't blame others for being wary of his artistic risk-taking, his abiding interest in sexuality, violence and death, Crowley and Borges, and some of his near mystical ideas. He may have had a dissociative personality, someone says here. This excellent documentary is enthusiastic but never hagiographic. At its core lies the fascinating history of Performance - a movie that looks even more insanely uncompromising now than when it first appeared.